And the hood is not the only thing new. One of the major changes that occurred during the buildup was an entirely new front end. Darwin never cared for the ’38 nose but always loved the ’40 version, having owned a ’40 Ford coupe in the past. The team at T&T located a ’40 Ford donor sedan and, with a considerable amount of metal fabrication, they grafted the ’40 sheet metal to the ’38 cab. Look closely and you will see the unique blending of the three style ridges in the ’38 cab and how they flow smoothly into the ’40 hood. Each of the ridges ends in a subtle scallop, a design element that was repeated in the edges of the split front bumpers and the single rear bumper. Rounding out the body mods is the new Pro’s Pick, all steel bed, complete with oak slats, stainless steel strips, and smooth tailgate. A polished aluminum gas filler cap in the bed floor makes it easy to fill the T&T-fabricated, stainless steel, 14-gallon fuel cell, positioned underneath. The bed is enclosed with a Pro’s Pick tonneau cover that raises and lowers, thanks to a pair of linear actuators. The bed sports a smoothed tailgate and the rear pan has cutouts for the twin pipes. Darwin chose ’40 Ford car taillights for the ’38 rear fenders, adding Billet Specialties Oblique side mirrors for the perfect vintage touch.
Lots of updates occurred inside, beginning with Lizard Skin sound deadening material, applied to every inch of the cab. The custom-built bench seat, upholstered in tan leather, was stitched by the team at M&M Interiors in Holly Pond, Alabama. They also added the matching door panels and square weave carpet, reinforcing the air of luxury inside the vintage cab. The dash was equipped with a pair of Haneline 5-inch gauges with a large tach and speedo along with the smaller instruments positioned inside. Keeping the driver in close touch with his ride are the Billet Specialties, burl wood Banjo steering wheel and the elegant Lokar Oval pedals. T&T fabricated a sheet metal center console to hold the controls for the Vintage Mini Gen II air-conditioning and the Pioneer DEH-P4800 CD/MP3 player. The combination keeps the cab cool and the music hot. Twin 6.25-inch component sets are mounted inside the console, two more in the kick panels, and a final set of 4-inch coaxials reside in the headliner to surround passengers with sound. Clear glass is a must and a one-piece Vintage tinted windshield replaced the original, complete with Specialty Power’s Dual Wipe intermittent wipers and their power side windows.
The finishing touch was paint, with Ricky White of T&T spraying a combination of PPG Mystic Gold over PPG Brownish Orange, separated by bright orange pinstripes. Subtle graphics highlight the tailgate and proclaim the dual lineage of this ’38/’40 Ford. The graphics on the back window are a tribute to Darwin’s father-in-law, “Dedicated to the Memory of Pap-Paw Brooks.” Darwin is very pleased now that the 3½ year project is complete. He and his wife Mary Ann have become regulars on the show circuit and the truck has taken dozens of awards over the last few years. While trophies are fun, Darwin says the best part is meeting so many wonderful people associated with the hobby. CCT